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August 3, 2011



                      Elections Commission Budget and Oversight of Public Elections  Committee Meeting 

             Wednesday August 3, 2011

           At 6:00 pm

                City Hall, Room 421

                1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place 

                  San Francisco, CA 94102


Order of Business

1. Call to Order and Roll Call


2. Public Comment on items appearing or not appearing on the agenda within the jurisdiction of the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee.

3. Discussion and possible action to adopt policy related to the timing of release of election results in Ranked-Choice Voting contests. Item referred to Committee by the Commission at May 18, 2011 Commission meeting.  Invited to speak to the Committee on this topic is Steven Hill of the New America Foundation.

4. Discussion and possible action regarding Department's Election Plan for the November 8, 2011 Municipal Election.

5. Discussion and possible action to approve the minutes of the February 2, 2011 meeting of the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee.



There will be an opportunity for public comment on each agenda item.

Materials contained in the Commission packets for meetings are available for inspection and copying  during regular office hours at the Department of Elections, City Hall Room 48.  Materials are placed in the Elections Commission's Public Binder no later than 72 hours prior to meetings.  Any materials distributed to members of the Elections Commission within 72 of the meeting or after the agenda packet has been delivered to the members are available for inspection at the Department of Elections, City Hall Room 48, in the Commission's Public Binder, during normal office hours.

Cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices: The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. The Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices.

Disability Access: The Elections Commission meeting will be held in Room 408, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA. The Commission meeting room is wheelchair accessible. The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: #42 Downtown Loop, and #71 Haight/Noriega and the F Line to Market and Van Ness and the Metro Stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For information about MUNI accessible services call (415) 923-6142. There is accessible curbside parking adjacent to City Hall on Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue and in the vicinity of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex.

To obtain a disability-related modification or accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, to participate in a meeting, please contact the Department of Elections at least 48 hours before the meeting, except for Monday meetings, for which the deadline is 4:00 p.m. the previous Friday.  Late requests will be honored, if possible. Services available on request include the following:  American sign language interpreters or the use of a reader during a meeting, a sound enhancement system, and/or alternative formats of the agenda and minutes.  Please contact the Department of Elections at (415) 554- 4375 or our TDD at (415) 554-4386 to make arrangements for a disability-related modification or accommodation.

Chemical-Based Products: In order to assist the City's efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical-based products.  Please help the City accommodate these individuals.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code):  Government's duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils, and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people's business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people's review. For more information on your rights under the Sunshine Ordinance or to report a violation of the ordinance, contact the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, CITY HALL, ROOM 244, 1 DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE, SAN FRANCISCO CA 94102-4689; PHONE: (415) 554-7724; FAX: (415) 554-7854; E-MAIL: [email protected]


Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, at the San Francisco Public Library, and on the City's website at


Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Requirements:  Individuals that influence or attempt to influence local policy or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code sections 2.100 – 2.160) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102; telephone (415) 252-3100, fax (415) 252-3112; and website: 



                                                                        Draft Minutes

                                                         Wednesday February 2, 2011

                                                                       At 6:00 pm

                                                                  City Hall, Room 421

                                                         1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place


      Order of Business:


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call   6:03


Chairman Gerard Gleason, Commissioner Richard Matthews, Commissioner Rosabella Safont


2.      Director’s briefing on the budget for year 2011-2012:


Director John Arntz began meeting inquiring if anyone would like to start with questions regarding the budget.  The Director preceded saying that this is the same budget previously forwarded to the Mayor’s Office.  The budget consist of charts and graphs and not all are applicable  to the Elections Department, such as Bart and Child Support however these items  are a part of the budget however the department is not required to respond.   The Budget is much the same as previous budgets it is based on three elections the November Election, February’s Presidential primary and June’s State primary.  Since the department began gathering information there has been a bill introduced in the Assembly to have the Presidential and State Primary’s consolidated and to be held in June 2011, this bill has not gone to committee however we will still have to absorb the cost in regards to poll workers, polling places, staffing and overtime, the same kinds of cost that we have experienced in the past.  There could possibly be an extra election no major cuts have been put forward at this time.  The director will retrieve this information and have it available prior to next meeting.  The only difference currently is that we are seeking to purchase the Vote by Mail scanner/sorter this machine is $175,000 and a stacker $11,000 this will allow a better means of quickly sorting by precincts. There are no layoffs scheduled at this time for this department.  The Elections Department spoke with the Mayor’s Office regarding possible cuts however there is nothing being discussed like 10% or 15% at this time.  The figures are 19 million when we take out the February Presidential primary, this will go down to 16 million, which is basically doubled from the last physical year, the Board Budget analysis will probably have the budget at 16m, for the Presidential primary if not passed by the Assembly, we still have to come forward with 3.4 million if the Presidential Primary is not consolidated with the June Primary.  Paid arguments that are most likely with a big election for an example with the November’s race for Mayor, the District Attorney and possibly the Sheriff’s even though we have these major elections not many

measures will be added.  We are scheduled to have one Health Service Election and a one Retirement Board Election, this coming physical year with a drop of approximately 82,000 in revenue.  President Matthews asked if there is a June Elections does he anticipate any trouble getting funded.  Director  Arntz replies no, says that the Board will introduce a resolution next week to consolidate two local Measure (1) School Board members that received a Bought and Paid for $500 or $50,000 per year (2) Charter Amendment that will allow you to leave office as Interm Air, which means you are able to go back to the same position.  Since there is a local interest in this election I don’t feel that there will be an issue, they will get a supplemental appropriation and submit and explain why the cost is what it is, I feel the city will fund its own election.  Commissioner Gleason asked what types of directives, did the Mayor’s Office specify in reference to numbers or percentages.  Director Arntz what they want to see is what we put together for the physical year, one of the challenging things is they want to see cost cut, but when you go from a one election year to a two election year the cost will rise, they will review and determine if they see where they can cut or scale back on.  Temporary workers salary and overtime associated with Prop J, the move from having City Employees assemble ballots, to change to an outside vendor, made a huge savings. The Agelius Machine VBM  scanner, when this machine was actually in operation we invited them down to view this machine in operation, to see just how it operated and to get a better idea of the impact and savings for the department.  This department has not been asked to cut back, because they realize that in the past few years we have cut back and are running a very lean operation.  The Bell & Howell and Pitney Bowes machines are at a cost of 500,000- 600,000 and runs off of 220 volts, while this machine  uses a 110 volt and at a cost of $175,000 and does all of the same functions.  Mayor Lee has made few changes he has kept the same budget office and no sudden shifts.  Commissioner Safont asked information regarding the Controller’s Office and Director replied that the Controller’s Office has made at least three changes within recent years.  Commissioner Matthews ask for comment from the Director, says that a couple years ago that it was introduced that we have two Deputy Directors budgeted.  Director Arntz replied we have had it in the budget since prior to him taking office and it continues to be a part of the budget.  In the past what he had done was TX taking funding to use in other positions. The department was unable to fill the position of Director, did allow him to hire a new Payroll clerk, now we have two Deputy Directors (1) working with budget personnel and (1) working with operations covering some of the other divisions.  Director says for an example he was out of the office for a couple days, working on a project with vendor K&H Printing, trying to resolve some issues and it has become impossible for one person to handle all the responsibilities having this support allows me to do more administrative duties.  Commissioner Matthews asked has there ever in the past been anything adverse that you were not able to TX, Director Arntz replied no and goes on the say that the payroll clerk is a 12/20 position and she comes with more that 1 years experience with payroll. 

Public Speaker David Pilpel says that the budget is heavy with numbers and charts, with are good things however he asked the commission to have narratives that give an overview of information on what happens in a current year budget verses the next years proposed budget.  Mr. Pilpel referring to the budget saying the final total is 18 million verse 9 million, says he assumes this was a single election verse a multiple.  Asked that information regarding the ballot sorting/stacker needs more of an explanation says charts showing 1.9 million wants an narrative, saying this warrants an explanation.


 3. Discussion and possible action regarding the Department’s budget for year 2011-2012

Commissioner Gleason ask that this be moved to the full commission meeting

       4. Discussion and possible action regarding Saturday voting for November 2011 election

Commissioner Gleason ask what will the deadline for Saturday Voting Budget, since this is privately funded?  Ask will Saturday Voting be an exact reflection of Tuesday Voting?  What is going be impacted, satellite voting operations?  Vote by Mail (VBM)?  Arntz says that when people come into the precinct they expect their vote to be counted the same day. Certain aspects of the study, like who will be responsible to pay?  Director Arntz some of these issues are already being worked on.  Director Arntz  spoke with Secretary of State’s Office and was told we can not replicate Tuesday voting on Saturday we can not used inside machines on Saturday per election code 301.8 Satellite voting only VBM or with electronic devices.  The only way we can have Rank Choice Voting is when we hear from Secretary of State, is VBN with DRE available on Saturday and Tuesday.  The conditions that are placed on voting systems are by Secretary of State,  must have jurisdiction being run be staff and staff must be responsible.  The Secretary of State is not sure at this point how this should be run.  It would be necessary to deputize approximately some 400 people and we are unable, we don’t have the man power.  I would like to have the proponents (Alex) so we can explain to him the difficulties as well as the Controller’s Office (Rosenfield) Commissioner Matthews want to express the magnitude of what is being asked, do we have deadline? Director Arntz he is not sure at this time, we must post results and provide and explanation of how we plan to post, polls we would have to have two machines and post Tuesday as well as Saturday.  Commissioner Matthews ask that on Tuesday would you be installing the same memory pack.  Director Arntz we may be able to borrow from Riverside, we have borrowed from them in the past and they have a big supply.  A survey of the polling places showed that 25% responded that they only wanted one day and poll workers were sent a survey.

Commissioner Matthews said both he and Gleason, feel that polling places may be difficult to find for Saturday.     


5. Discussion and possible action regarding redistricting based on the 2010 decennial census, possibly including issues pertaining to redistricting task force

Chairman Gerard Gleason ask for information from the director  regarding dates and requirements of reporting of  the Census. 


6. Discussion and possible action to approve December 2010 minutes for Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee meeting


Vote was unanimous to approve December 2010 Minutes


       Adjournment: 7:18


Last updated: 8/10/2011 10:03:35 AM